If you're going to netboot Linux on a Sparcstation you'll want a recent Linux kernel in a.out format capable of net booting:

  • Download and untar the kernel sources.
  • Read linux/Documentation/nfsroot.txt again.
  • Run your favourite make ...config. Make sure you have NFS and "IP: kernel level autoconfiguration" (under Networking) with BOOTP checked.
  • Compile the kernel: make dep vmlinux modules modules_install
  • Now we've got the linux/vmlinux file. This is your kernel in ELF format. Run elftoaout on vmlinux. Move the resulting file a.out to the tftpboot directory on the server and give it a good name.
  • Now look at your syslog while the Sparcstation tries to boot. You will see that tftpd gets a request for a file with a name composed as <IP address in hex>.<architecture>. Make this file a symlink to your a.out-kernel.
  • Boot. If you haven't passed all the correct parameters to the kernel, it will probably halt in confusion as it doesn't know where to find an IP address or a root filesystem.

Would you like to go back to Netbooting a SPARCstation with Linux?

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